If there was any doubt that Race Direction in MotoGP is trying to impose a stricter code of behavior on riders in all three Grand Prix classes, the bumper crop of penalty points issued at Aragon and Sepang makes their intention clear. At Aragon, three penalty points were awarded: One for Alessandro Tonucci in Moto3, for staying on the line during qualifying, and one for Sandro Cortese for the incident in the Moto2 race, when he touched Alex De Angelis, causing the Italian to crash.
The most discussed penalty was of course the one issued for Marc Marquez, who was penalized for the touch on Dani Pedrosa which severed the cable to Pedrosa's rear wheel speed sensor, confusing the electronics and causing the unlucky Pedrosa to be ejected from his Repsol Honda. Marquez had to wait until Sepang to be hear what the punishment for that incident would be, after Race Direction asked for more data.
At Sepang, a couple more penalty points were handed out. One to Pol Espargaro, for not respecting the newly instated starting zones, and cutting across in front of other riders waiting to do a practice start, and one for Maverick Viñales, for his excessively robust move in the run to the finish line, when he barged Jack Miller aside to grab 5th place.
Ten riders have now been issued penalty points, for incidents ranging back to Jerez. The two repeat offenders now lead the Table Of Shame, Marc Marquez leading Maverick Viñales, with Ricky Cardus on the same number of points as Viñales, despite only having committed a single offence. Marquez has a total of 3 points, the single point issued for the incident at Aragon coming on top of 2 points awarded for the crash at Silverstone during morning warm up, when he ignored yellow flags and sent the marshalls scurrying for cover as they worked to clear Cal Crutchlow's fallen bike, an incident that could have had very serious consequences. Viñales' 2 points came in separate incidents, 1 for the barge at Sepang, and 1 for pushing his bike the wrong way down pit lane at Mugello.
Only Marquez is in any real danger of suffering a penalty, however. The Spaniard's total of 3 points brings him within a single point of being forced to start from the back of the grid. It would take only a relatively minor misdeed to handicap Marquez, and Race Direction are hoping that such a prospect will rein him in for the rest of the season.
Accumulating a total of 4 points will force Marc Marquez - or any rider - to start from the back of the grid. If a rider amasses 7 points, they are forced to start from pit lane, 10 seconds after the rest of the field has cleared. A total of 10 penalty points means automatic disqualification from the next race. Penalty points will be wiped clean at the end of the season, giving all riders the opportunity to start 2014 with a completely clean slate.
Current penalty point totals:
|97||Rafid Topan Sucipto||Moto2||1|
Table of all penalty points issued so far, and for what:
|Race||Date||Session||Class||No.||Rider||Infringement||Article infringed||Penalty points imposed||Total points 2013|
|Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix||13 Oct 2013||WUP||Moto2||40||Pol Espargaró||Irresponsible riding, crossing the track in front of riders in the Practice Start zone||1.21.2 and 1.21.16||1||1|
|Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix||13 Oct 2013||Race||Moto3||25||Maverick Viñales||Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.||1.21.2||1||2|
|Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón||29 Sep 2013||Race||MotoGP||93||Marc Marquez||Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.||1.21.2||1||3|
|Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón||28 Sep 2013||Q||Moto3||19||Alessandro Tonucci||Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider||1.21.2||1||1|
|Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón||28 Sep 2013||Race||Moto2||11||Sandro Cortese||Irresponsible riding, contact with another rider.||1.21.2||1||1|
|GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini||14 Sep 2013||Q||Moto2||88||Ricard Cardus||Did not respect the Yellow Flag||1.22.2||2||2|
|Hertz British Grand Prix||1 Sep 2013||WUP||MotoGP||93||Marc Marquez||Did not respect the Yellow Flag||1.22.2||2||2|
|bwin Grand Prix České republiky||24 Aug 2013||Q2||MotoGP||29||Andrea Iannone||Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider||1.21.2||1||1|
|IVECO TT Assen||28 Jun 2013||Q1||MotoGP||8||Hector Barbera||Riding slowly on the racing line causing obstruction to another rider||1.21.2||1||1|
|IVECO TT Assen||28 Jun 2013||Q1||MotoGP||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Striking another rider||188.8.131.52||1||1|
|Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya||15 Jun 2013||Q||Moto3||25||Maverick Viñales||Riding in the opposite direction in the Pit Lane||1.21.2||1||1|
|Gran Premio bwin de España||5 May 2013||Race||Moto2||97||Rafid Topan Sucipto||Did not respect the Blue Flag||1.22.1||1||1|